Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The audacity of Volt

I blogged about the GM Volt (on Aug 23) after being puzzled by the TV ads shown during the Olympics. I know a bit more now, having listened to an interview with Jonathan Rauch on Econtalk.

The most fascinating part of the story is Rauch's conclusion that the big corporation has forced itself to go to a sort of Schelling self-command game. They set wildly optimistic deadlines to create and master new technology, going unusually public on a very risky fast track, pushing high-concept innovation in real time, in order to force itself not to drop the ball, as it has often done.

The story upends than the stale Nader-inspired Hollywood tale of cynical corporate scheming to stifle new technology. Capitalism is always a source of brisk change. Even Hollywood dullards should be able to grasp that.